What's all this about cameras mattering or not?It is elementary they matter...how could one call it photography without a camera? This is not what is being discussed.
Yes it is, because Rockwell started this discussion by saying the camera didn't matter at all in his article numerous times. And he failed to offer any hints that there may be exceptions to the principle anywhere in his lengthy babblings. That's what this debate is all about. Are you defending Rockwell's position without even knowing what he wrote? Or do you think we're too stupid to notice the absurdity of your argument here?
Photoshop doesn't replicate anything at all...it EMULATES. It is like in audio software that trieds to emulate vintage synthesizers....it can't.The quality of this emulation, to any discerning eye/ear, is quite off...and it will never be adequate. The very nature of the noise in the older/original tools (say..a Minimoog synth, or Tri-x pushed 2 stops )actually engenders a certain aesthetical approach or way of working. So what use is it to 'look' like a photo taken with a Holga? Completely useless actually...
That's your opinion, but that doesn't make it an established fact. You're ignoring the possibility that someone may not
want or need the exact "Holga look" for their image; they may want the lens aberrations and film grain look but more accurate colors than the palette the film offers, or the lens aberrations and color palette without the film grain, etc. Just because Tri-X and Velvia have a specific "look" doesn't mean that achieving that "look" should be the ultimate goal of photography, any more than the sound of a vintage tube amp is what every guitar player should aspire to, regardless of their style, or that every keyboard player must use a Minimoog or an original Hammond with the rotating speaker. Often the sound desired may not correspond to any piece of vintage gear exactly, and that's where digital can come in very handy. While amp modeling may not perfectly recreate the sound of a particular piece of analog gear, it can get pretty damn close; close enough for the digital emulation to be worthwhile and useful.
When I'm playing guitar, the exact distortion I want may not be available from any analog amp. Having a digital distortion pedal with adjustable parameters allows me to fine-tune the amount and type of distortion to my tastes, without limiting myself to the characteristics of any original analog device. The same goes for emulating the Holga look digitally. Doing so may not duplicate every aspect of the Holga look perfectly, but that certainly doesn't mean doing so is "completely useless".